Hello, Forty!

Good day, my friends!

As you guessed, it’s finally here. My birthday. And at 9:30 pm, I will officially be forty. This is such an accomplishment. Turning forty is a big deal in itself. You start a new stage in life. Your mindset changes, too. Certainly all these things apply to me, but I add another important change. It marks a change in attitude. One that’s more grateful and appreciative than in my twenties, and even thirties. A change that applies to everything in my life. My family. My job. My writing. My faith. Everything is going to change. Enough of looking at life half-empty and feeling sorry for myself. It’s time I finally take charge of my destiny.

Everyone knows the saying about learning new tricks. I think that certainly applies to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with where I am, but there’s always room to improve. There are opportunities to make yourself better. And that is how I’m approaching this year and every year forward.

I’m discovering ways I can make my situations better. My mental health certainly comes to mind. For a long time, I depended on my wife and other members of my family to hold me accountable. It’s time I started holding myself accountable. That’s not to say I don’t require their assistance every once in a while. I need the occasional kick-in-the-rear. But I have to be my own advocate. I have to speak up for myself. I have to communicate my needs to my family as well as my team of professionals.

Taking care of myself also means allowing myself to have some fun. Give myself some grace and not hold myself, as well as others, to unreasonable standards. No one knows how much time we have left. So I’m going to make the most of it. Live for today. Enjoy the time I have with my family and friends. Get out of my own little bubble and explore what life has to offer.

Turning forty is a great thing. For nearly a year, I dreaded it. I dreaded all the negativity I assumed came with it. However, the closer it approached, the more I became appreciative and happy with beginning a new phase in my life. Shrug off the negative; embrace the positive; strive to be something more than your circumstance.

Oh, before I forget. I’m starting a new series to commemorate and celebrate the forty years I’ve enjoyed. A way to give myself a break from “writing” and to share more about my life. I’ve christened the series, “The 40-Year Favorites.” Each month, I will share my favorite things and moments that I have been blessed to experience. The first entry will be published in a week.

As my mom writes on my envelopes, “No peeking until then!”

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